Wechsler Adult Intelligence and Memory Scale (WAIS-IV) (WMS-IV)

paperworkA test designed to measure intelligence, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence and Memory Scale (WAIS-IV) (WMS-IV) is the latest version of this iconic scale that was first developed back in the 1950s. Devised by David Wechsler, the goal of the test is to help identify issues with a patient’s ability to interact rationally and productively within his or her environment. In other words, the test is designed to aid mental health professionals in understanding the current capabilities of their patient as they begin treatment and give them the information they need to accurately develop goals and design a personalized treatment plan to help them achieve those goals.

The Latest Version of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence and Memory Scale

Based on three prior versions and another similar test designed in the 1930s, the fourth version of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence and Memory Scale is new and improved because it offers subtests to clarify different mental abilities. In total, there are 10 core subtests as well as five additional subtest options. The 10 core subtests provide information to generate a broad score called the Full Scale IQ (FSIQ), and the subtests generate information that is used to calculate the General Ability Index (GAI) score.

These subtests are designed to address different aspects of intelligence. The four scores culled from the subtests include:

  • Processing Speed Index (PSI)
  • Perceptual Reasoning Index (PRI)
  • Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI)
  • Working Memory Index (WMI)

Together, these different scores present an accurate understanding of the patient’s abilities.

Skills Measured Through the WAIS-IV
Through the core tests and the subtests, different abilities are measured for the four major scores. These include:Processing Speed Index (PSI)

  • Speed and accuracy in processing visual information
  • Visual working memory
  • Accuracy in analysis of visual cues
  • Visual/motor coordination

Perceptual Reasoning Index (PRI)

  • Spatial reasoning
  • Speed and accuracy in processing visual detail
  • Quantitative reasoning
  • Analogical reasoning
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Nonverbal problem solving

Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI)

  • Verbal expression of vocabulary
  • Ability to reason articulately
  • Ability to process social situations and conventionalities
  • Level of understanding of cultural information and conventions

Working Memory Index (WMI)

  • Ability to concentrate and focus
  • Ability to maintain focus while performing specific tasks

The Efficacy of the WAIS-IV

The Wechlser Adult Intelligence and Memory Scale (WAIS-IV) has been proven effective in a number of studies, including one published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society that explored the ability of the test to correctly identify issues in patients struggling with severe traumatic brain injury and lower education levels. It proved to be extremely helpful in identifying areas of deficiency and capability in patients, which allowed providers to build specific treatment plans to address obstacles and challenges in recovery.

Use of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence and Memory Scale in Treatment

The WAIS-IV test is a specialized diagnostic tool and may or may not be appropriate for every patient. It is, however, accepted for use in everyone over the age of 16; there are two other versions that are more appropriate for children. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) is designed for those between the ages of 6 and 16, and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) is designed for those between the ages of 2.5 and 7.

If you would like to learn more about the diagnostic and evaluation options available to you or your loved one, contact us at Alta Mira today to learn more about our programs.